10 Ways to Build Your Blog Readership



1. A Good Blog: Before you worry about taking over the world, you need to get the nuts and bolts of your blog figured out. Design, user friendliness, niche and content are the top things to consider. Your blog should be original and authentic– it’s the one place in the world that is all about YOU!

2. Commenting: When you first start blogging, there is simply no better way to build a readership. You have to put in your time and get out there– sometimes it’s fun and sometimes it’s not, but it’s an absolute must. Start with the blogrolls of blogs you like and then see who’s commenting there. The comments you leave are your calling cards, the more you scatter across blog-land, the more people will come back to visit you. {Read my tips for commenting}

3. Find your Tribe: Every blogger needs some good blogging buddies. These are the people who you can ask to tweet something for you or keep an eye on your blog while you’re away or comment on a post that isn’t getting any attention. Put each other on your blogrolls, subscribe to each other’s feeds and just be an over all support system. They’ll give you readers and you’ll give them readers. Everybody wins.

4. Guest Posting: Writing on someone else’s blog is a great way to expose yourself to a whole new audience. Ask your friends if they need a break or submit a post to a blogger you like. Your post should be one that you’ve never posted before and is representative of your blog. If it’s a good one, people will check your blog out and hopefully become your own readers.

5. Twitter: Twitter is a great tool to get people over to your blog, but nobody wants to follow someone who does nothing but promote themselves. Start a twitter account and build a following by engaging people. Promote yourself in one out of every ten or so tweets. More than that and you’ll turn people off. Title your posts well so that people are intrigued enough to click over. {Read my tips for Twitter}

6. Facebook: I worship Facebook. It consistently delivers me more traffic than any other single site. Why? Because  everyone is on it. Your high school BFF. Your former colleagues. Your mother. Your blog friends. There is no other way to easily access to all of those people at once. Incorporate Facebook on to your blog through “like” buttons and widgets. Once someone likes your post, it posts to their wall for all of their contacts to see- the reach is incomparable.

7. Contests: Many people look at contests for the pure traffic they provide, I look at them as a thank you to my readers. I never ask that people take more than one step to be entered, and I secure giveaways that I would want to win myself. Sure, the boost in traffic is nice, but I’m more concerned with getting people to become regular visitors.

8. Conferences/Meet-Ups: The more you get out there, (assuming you aren’t a total asshole,) the better your reputation will become. Pass out business cards, go up to strangers and get out of your comfort zone. This is your chance to make the avatars that live in your computer your friends, and to make strangers your readers. It doesn’t have to be a conference with thousands of people- meeting a few local bloggers for happy hour can be a start.

9. Accessibility: Answer emails, respond to comments with questions and don’t ignore twitter @’s. Be nice and be available. Gone are the days when I respond to every comment– there simply isn’t the time. I do, however, take the time to respond to every e-mail I receive or question that someone poses in my comments. It’s simply common courtesy.

10. Maintain your site: I’m constantly changing things around on my site– whether it’s the plug-ins I’m using or the layout or trying out a new type of post. I know that I get bored looking at the same thing everyday and figure other people do as well. Keep an eye on your comments- are people playing nice? If not, step in. It’s your blog and your job to keep it alive and growing.


The Scary Mommy Community is built on support. If your comment doesn't add to the conversation in a positive or constructive way, please rethink submitting it. Basically? Don't be a dick, please.

  1. 1

    Cheryl says

    Jill, you’re adorable AND generous! ;) So wish I could be there to see you talk these tips in person next week…am still grateful that I got to hear (and see!) you at BlogHer.

    Here’s hoping for more mid-East coast Bloggy Boot Camps! Go get ‘em, Gurl!

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  2. 3

    Rene Foran says

    Great tips!
    Especially about the commenting!
    One really thoughtful/funny/well-timed comment will send traffic to your blog!
    I am still searching for my tribe!!
    Nomadic most likely :)


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  3. 6

    Andrea (Lil-Kid-Things) says

    I love these tips! I also want to add that comparing stats from past months can be a huge confidence booster! But comparing this August to last August I have seen a huge difference! It takes time.

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  4. 11

    Sandra says

    Jill, you’re so generous to offer such wonderful insight. I’m just starting to think seriously about building my blog, and I find insight like this to be invaluable. Thanks so much. I’m certianly a loyal reader!

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  5. 12

    Nan says

    I can never decide whether I really want traffic or not :) Since I started blogging just to keep my family in touch with what the boys were up to, my site has evolved… and evolved again… and is about to evolve again into WHO KNOWS WHAT?!!

    You are a genius of bloggy marketing. You know what you want your site to do, and you get it there. I bow to your awesomeness!

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  6. 16

    Crystal says

    Thank you for this post! I have been on the fence about whether or not to create a facebook page for my blog. Sounds like it is worth the effort, so I will have to get to work.

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  7. 17

    Life with Kaishon says

    I should totally come to the Philly bloggy boot camp! I mean, I live right outside of the city. : ( If I would have known you were going to be there I would have paid it SO much more attention! : ) I have a couple of shoots scheduled. Maybe I can rearrange! Meeting you would be a delight!

    Thanks for your fabulous tips as always! Maybe I will write a fun guest post for you about taking pictures. Not that I am by any means an expert : ) Maybe I could get some people to look at their camera in a new way!

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  8. 20

    rtcrita says

    Thanks for these tips! I have been reading up on how to get this “blog thing” done and done right, and what you say is the same things I have been figuring out and reading about. I just started recently, finally, after wanting to do this for a couple of years now. I’m in love with it already! It IS a lot of work, though, and I knew it would be. I love graphic arts and photograph, so designing the backgrounds and other things are fun for me. It’s a place where I can be creative in all the things I love: writing, photography, crafts, cooking, etc. How fun is that?!

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  9. 21


    That is a great set of tips and organized really well. Would have been really useful to have had it around when I first started blogging. I especially like the Twitter tips.

    Twitter sends me a fair amount of traffic, but that is primarily because I have worked hard to engage with others. If you don’t build relationships it is just useless.

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